A couple of years ago, my husband and our three dogs went on a little vacation in a beautiful city of Carmel, California. I remember passing a tiny pet store that we had to go into, seeing all the beautiful beds, decorated accessories and a wall of treats. From the display itself, to bright and beautiful packaging, I immediately wanted to purchase all the treats hanging on that wall! However, after picking up a few of those and looking at the ingredients, I was highly disappointed with the large list of ingredients, unknown names and scary looking preservatives.
With so many treats on the market today, it can be quite challenging picking a right treat for your dog. Some have ingredient lists that never end, making it almost impossible to notice those “bad” guys hiding in it. Others are simply deceiving, using words such as “all natural” in order to defer the consumer from actually looking into its ingredients. Here, we will provide your with our top 10 helpful tips to choosing the best treats for your dogs, even those that you can eat yourself (not that dehydrated chicken sounds too appealing).
1.Look at the # and list of ingredients.
If the list is overwhelming and has items you would not eat yourself or can’t pronounce, move on! There are better treats out there.
Example 1: The good treat
Here, we can clearly read, understand and pronounce each and every ingredient that goes into PolkaDog’s treats. These are the treats we can safely eat ourself (if we liked that sort of thing).
Example 2: The bad treat
I will not reveal this brand, but if you can tell, this brand puts a lot of things in their cookies that you probably don’t want in your dogs tummy. Added colors, corn syrup, artificial flavors, and unnecessary preservatives are among some of the culprits.
2. Look at the country of origin.
The only treats we sell are made in the USA, in small batches for quality control. If you buy treats made in another country, make sure you trust their quality control practices.
3. A good quality treat will cost you more money.
If you see a treat that promises to be good but is sold cheaply, always make sure you do your research. It is probably too good to be true.
4.Look for treats that have limited ingredients.
One-ingredient treats are healthy and are great for dogs with allergies, which helps you pinpoint what your dog is allergic too. Here is the list of some of the treats we carry at Ecohug that have only one ingredient.
5. Be Aware, all Jerky treats are not made the same.
Some of them are full of salt and other preservatives that are used to dry out the chicken. Choose Jerky that is just plain chicken, with no added salt. Here are some of our favorites:
6. Alternate treat ingredients.
Even if your dog’s favorite treats are cod skins, it is always a good idea to alternate the cod skins with other treats made from chicken, beef, liver, etc.
7. Rawhides and processed bones can often be dangerous for your dog.
While there are multiple views on rawhides, we do not feed rawhides to our dogs. Do your own research before purchasing rawhides bones. There are many good sources online that you can use such as Whole Dog Journal and The Bark.
8. Avoid treat that tell you to “wash your hands after handling”.
I mean, this is is self explanatory. If you have to wash your hands after touching it, it is probably not good for your pup.
9. Limit the amount of liver treats you feed.
Liver has lots of fat-soluble vitamins that can be dangerous if feed in large amounts.
10. Make your own treats!
This is a great option because you control exactly what goes into your dog’s treats. You can even use a dehydrator and make your own beef, chicken or fish jerky! Visit our Pinterest Board to see a collection of treats you can make!
Leave us a comment below and let us know how you guys choose your dog treats. We look forward to hearing from you!